Tardy Tuesday Takedown 10/11/16…
We begin today in the United States, where the Republican party is in convulsions after a devastating video revealed its nominee, real estate tycoon and provocateur Donald Trump, bragging about sexually assaulting women and that he can do so because of his fame. The unaired 2005 video from an Access Hollywood interview was first reported by The Washington Post.
Denunciations began as a flood and have since slowed to a trickle after Trump’s better than expected but still awful debate perforamnce. Yet the diagnosis for the Grand Old Party remains dire. Unthinkable only a week ago, Democrats are now seriously strategizing about taking back the House.
Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said he would no longer defend Trump but would work to preserve his suddenly fragile majority. It amounted to a capitulation of the of the White House on the part of the House GOP. But it also prompted a fierce backlash from Trump and ilk Republicans. Civil war has engulfed the party.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, has firmed up her strength in the polls. Despite early verdicts from the punditocracy after Sunday’s town hall debate, many polls show Clinton came out on top. Buoyed, Clinton has continued her push on the road campaigning today in Florida with former Vice-President Al Gore. The 2000 presidential candidate warned a crowd of Millennials to vote and to vote carefully—i.e. not for a third party—presenting himself as a cautionary tale about a close election going the other way.
…And the World:
After a Saudi-led bombing raid on a funeral in Sana, Yemen leaves scores dead, the United States considers withdrawing its support from the operation. Saudi Arabia has injected itself into the war tearing Yemen apart ever since Houthi rebels took the capital last year. Riyadh is investigating the bombing.
Also in Britain, the economic fallout of Brexit continues. The government’s chaos and disjointed plans to leave the European Union have prompted another run on the pound, suggesting a divorce from the Continent could cost the UK a lot. However, sentiment for London could blunt the impact on the city.
— Bloomberg (@business) October 11, 2016
Bernie Sanders endorses…his brother! Larry Sanders is running as a Green for former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s former seat in Parliament.
The New York Times considers the tenure of Avigdor Leiberman as Israel’s Defense Minister. The head of the right-wing, Russian-immigrant focused Yisrael Beiteinu party has displayed a lot of tough talk, but not as much action to reshape the Israeli armed forces as his opponents feared.
NPR considers why Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has such a beef from the United States.
Today in irony: Chinese leaders says the US’s batty election makes their case for one-party rule.
Rome withdraws from the competition to host the 2024 Olympics.
The Austarlian Labor Party blocked a referendum on same-sex marriage, arguing that there was no guarantee the non-binding plebecite would be enacted by Parliament and that human rights should not be subject to voter approval.
Labor wants to achieve marriage equality in the fastest, cheapest, least harmful way possible. That's why we want a free vote in Parliament. pic.twitter.com/tv4f2F6Frr
— Bill Shorten (@billshortenmp) October 11, 2016
The Feds (cont’d):
Donald Trump earned condemnation from across the spectrum for promising to jail Hillary Clinton during Sunday’s debate. The New York Times’s foreign policy columnist observes that it is subtle erosion of a country’s democratic institutions and norms—often by those elected freely and fairly—that undermines a country’s freedom and democracy.
— David Nir (@DavidNir) October 10, 2016
I'm guessing the guy vowing to jail his opponent won't end mass incarceration.
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) October 10, 2016
Read more about the debate. Before the show, Trump paraded out women who had accused President Bill Clinton of misconduct. Trump’s campaign tried to seat the women in the family box but the Commission of Presidential Debates squelched that.
The Clinton campaign will not confirm their authenticity, but Wikileaks appears to have obtained the hacked emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. The email dump has provided a fascinating—if also disconcerting on online privacy grounds—into the workings of campaigns. Despite some misrepresentations, the emails contain no real bombshells. But these emails were hacked, not leaked.
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) October 11, 2016
Closer to home, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren sent the Clinton camp a list of staff recommendations.
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dealt a (non-fatal) blow to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, saying its structure was unconstitutional. THe immediate impact is non-existent. The court merely said its single director was vested with too much power as an independent agency and struck the provision that the president may only remove him “for cause.” In effect, the ruling gave the president more oversight of the agency. In a press release Warren, the agency’s architect, expected the ruling to be overturned, but said the court’s “tweak” did nothing to change the bureau’s mandate or overall powers.
— Alex Howard (@digiphile) October 11, 2016
The State of Things:
Auditor Suzanne Bump is not going anywhere. After taking ownership of her late husband company, Bump announced that she has left it in the hands of the business’s CEO and professionals to run the company. She also intends to run for reelection in 2018. A former legislator, Bump was elected Auditor in 2010 and served in former Governor Deval Patrick’s cabinet.
— 𝐒𝐭𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐁𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐧 (@WBURSteve) October 11, 2016
Senator Warren hits the trail for Democrats on the Cape. Elsewhere, Warren called on Governor Charlie Baker to more forcefully denounce Trump in the wake of the leaked video. The governor is vacationing in Ireland (Thank God, he’s probably thinking). While Baker has previously disavowed his party’s presidential nominee, the Massachusetts Republican party accepted Trump’s apology and maintains its support for him.
Senator Eric Lesser and Ludlow School Committee member Chip Harrington faced off in a debate last night. Lesser also scooped up an endorsement from Wilbraham Firefighters today and will campaign with former governor Michael Dukakis this weekend.
In Holyoke political potpourri: Council President Kevin Jourdain faces an open meeting complaint. New ordinances are on the docket for the Council’s appropriately-named Ordinance Committee. Finally Jourdain and Mayor Alex Morse—who are against and for Question 4, which would legal marijuana in Massachusetts—will debate later this month.
Fiat Chrysler and Canadian labor negotiators reach a deal.
The Fourth Estatements:
The now-infamous Donald Trump tape originally came from Access Hollywood, a sister unit of NBC News. Yet it was The Post that had the scoop. A great deal of intrigue has settled over how NBC Universal’s got scooped on its own tape. NBC claims it was vetting the tape with lawyers, but some doubt that story.
One thing’s for certain, Today show personality Billy Bush is out. Bush, relation to presidents, worked for Access Hollywood at the time, is heard laughing on the tape. Originally NBC merely suspended him indefinitely, but news sources report he is negotiating his exit.
Meanwhile, the producers for The Apprentice, who are believed to hold more lurid/damning Trump tape, are not giving it up.
Politico’s Morning Media yesterday had a wrap-up of debate moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz’s performance.
This might be the toughest debate for moderators of the year. Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz doing well so far.
— Adam Nagourney (@adamnagourney) October 10, 2016
I’d like to move for Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz to both get raises #DebateNight
— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) October 10, 2016
The Atlantic names Jeffrey Goldberg its next editor-in-chief.
Last week, the School Committee in Springfield selected former member Norman Roldan to fill the seat left vacant after Calvin McFadden’s resignation. Read our editorial about how that was a missed opportunity for Springfield.
Sirdeaner Walker is remembered for turning tragedy into action after her son, Carl Walker-Hoover, committed suicide in 2009. Walker died last week of cancer.
In an editorial, The Republican pans Springfield Police Commissioner’s suspension of Detective Gregg Bigda.
The last four days have been a roller coaster, a harrowing journey, insane, pick your descriptor. The 2005 video of Trump describing sexual assault and his stardom’s license to commit it has utterly changed the race. It has exposed many Republicans’ tolerance of Trump and subsequent hypocrisy. It also revealed something many long suspected about the hot-air laden bully. However, there was another revealing moment. The debate this weekend unmasked clearly Trump’s contempt for the norms of our liberal democracy. Whatever one’s view of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s promise to prosecute and jail her is worrying, indeed terrifying. It is a challenge to our democratic system. Participation should not come at the risk of prosecution. Today we award the Tweet prize to Times columnist Max Fisher who bluntly states this point about Trump’s remarks. There are many reasons why Trump is unacceptable and horrible, but his antipathy toward democracy should be the one distressing Americans most.